Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tour of Africa will see India granting over USD 400 million in lines of credit to Uganda and Rwanda. Modi’s five day, three nation tour of Africa kicked off on Monday, 23rd July. Modi before heading for Uganda on 24th July took a stopover in Rwanda. Modi’’s tour would end in South Africa on 27th July where he would be attending the BRICS summit in Johannesburg.
Modi’s visit to Rwanda, Uganda, and South Africa, would help to strengthen relations with the African continent. However, it won’t be Modi’s first visit to the African continent. He paid a visit to Mozambique, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles, and Mauritius in 2015 and 2016.
Modi’s arrival in the Rwandan capital took place just after the visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping. For Modi, it would be his first ever Prime Ministerial visit from India to an East African nation.
India views Rwanda as an important gateway to eastern Africa. Hence, India elevated its diplomatic ties with the country and went ahead for a strategic partnership early this January. Although, India doesn’t have any resident mission in Rwanda, administration works are carried out through the high commission in Kampala. As a part of the new batch of embassies that would be opened in Africa, Rwanda tops the list.
Ahead of Modi’s visit, ministry of external affairs secretary briefed that India views Rwanda as an important partner in Africa. He pointed that Rwanda hosted the Assembly of the African Union, where the African Continental Free Trade Area was signed. He also mentioned $200 million of soft loans would be announced which would be used for industrial parks, agriculture projects, and special economic zones. For Kagame’s social protection scheme, India would hand over 200 cows.
Modi’s visit to Uganda would be his first visit as Indian PM in 21 years. While addressing the Ugandan parliament, he would announce $205 million line of credit for electricity transmission and agriculture projects.